When I read my friend Tia's Flashback post about her dad teaching her to ride a bike I was completely touched. I am also a Daddy's girl... always have been. In high school he was my best friend, I could talk to him about anything and usually that took place before bed, I would sit with him and watch TV and talked for hours... that's how I got the nickname "Gabby". I haven't seen my dad in 2 years.. in fact it is 2 years today that he flew in to Arkansas to see me.
My dad got sick back in 2000... he worked for Freightliner (the truck company). He started passing out at work and started going into what we called "the box". Dad went to several specialists and was tested for everything from cancer to huntingtons disease. It wasn't until about a year later we found out he had Celiac Sprue Disease. Celiac Sprue is a gluten intolerance that destroys the stomach and upper small intestine. It goes hand in hand with lactose intolerance, osteoporosis and many other diseases and disorders. Dad developed some extreme and very rare symptoms including stuttering, memory loss and involuntary movement of his head.
As I said earlier, he would go into what we called "the box". This was a scary time for dad and us kids. "The box" was when dad's mind shut down... he didn't know where he was, who he was or who we were. Dad has been gluten free for about 10 years now and he still suffers from the memory loss, stuttering and the shaking of his head.
The photo I am going to share with you today was taken in December 2000 shortly after dad got sick. If you notice, he is in a wheel chair... he spent a lot of time in that chair back then because this illness drained him of all his energy. This picture was taken at family fun night at my little brother's elementary school. My dad is awesome.